First and Last

From the Beginning …

The Mod Scene probably started with the Beat Club, a regular dance club with various up and coming bands playing, held at the Rainbow Rooms, part of the Co-op on Broad Street which has since become the Broadway Cinema. It was run by Mick Parker who went on to become the owner of a new club in town – the Dungeon.

Grand Opening Night

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Friday July 10th, 1964 was the Grand Opening of the club and it cost 5/- to get in (25p in new money). The first band to play on the Dungeon stage was Big Ugly Dane and the Diamonds who were supporting the second band to play, the Dennisons.

Big Ugly Dane and the Diamonds

They were managed by Philip Smith who had been a partner of Mick Parker in the ‘Beat Club’ project.

Philip Smith – “Yep, I was their manager, originally Ray Dane and the Diamonds. An excellent all round pop group. They spent MANY months touring U.S. Air Force camps in Europe due to their popularity; they were sent from camp to camp without any help from me. I changed the name to ‘Big Ugly Dane’ and the Diamonds to attract interest when they returned to England … it worked!”

The Dennisons
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The Dennisons were a 5-piece ‘Merseybeat’ band from Liverpool who played from 1961 till they disbanded in 1967, taking their name from a Liverpool street. They released three singles – the self-written ‘Be My Girl’ (number 46 in the UK charts) in 1963, Rufus Thomas ‘Walking the Dog’ (number 36) and ‘Nobody Like Me Babe’ both 1964. Their drummer later achieved fame as an actor, best known for his role as ‘Jack Sugden’ in the soap opera ‘Emmerdale’.

Here are some samples of the Dennisons’ music:

 

… To the End

As reported elsewhere, an advertisement was printed in the Nottingham Evening Post for the weekend of 16th-18th February 1968, as follows:

Last advert

There were no more ads, therefore we have to assume that the all-day marathon featuring Mint on Sunday February 18th was the last event at the Dungeon.

So, we can assume that the last live act to play at the Dungeon was Mint – they travelled all the way from Leicester to perform in the club.

The Mint

At the time the band consisted of:

  • Alan Jones – guitar, vocals
  • George Moorley – bass, vocals
  • Phil Cartwright – drums, vocals
  • Rick Martin – lead vocals

In the words of Alan Jones “Apologies for not recollecting the gig – and being the last group there. I just hope we weren’t the reason for it’s closure.”

Mint were formed in the late 60s in Leicester by Alan Jones to play in Germany. The line-up changed over time, personnel joining who played in other local bands such as the Martins, the Berkeley Squares, Mick Poultons’ Pendulum, The Rockets.

The band had twin lead guitars and harmony vocals (falsetto lead) playing songs like ‘Marianne’ by Grapefruit and ‘Under My Skin’ by the Four Seasons. They travelled Europe and the UK and received national recognition with record releases, and Radio 1 and TV appearances.

They had more success in the 70s after becoming a 5-piece, culminating in them becoming the only band to win shows on both Opportunity Knocks and New Faces.

After being a successful club and cabaret band, they eventually called it a day and the various personnel who had played in the band went on to perform in a multitude of other bands. In recent times, the band have reformed to play odd gigs.

 

You can hear performances by the band on YouTube:

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Dungeon Daze

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Debut

Sample sounds and snaps from the debut gig of ‘Dungeon Daze’, a band set up by a group of original Mods who went to the Dungeon Club in Nottingham in the 1960s, playing mostly music they listened to in that club.

Gig advertisement

Line-up:

  • Matthew Norrish – vocals, keyboard, harmonica
  • Maurice Moore – vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion
  • Mel Munks – vocals, guitar
  • Mick Holland – vocals, bass
  • Ray Hopkinson – vocals, guitar
  • Alan – vocals, drums

 

Set Part 1

 

Set Part 2

 

Acknowledgements:

  • Music played by the band
  • ‘Dungeon Daze’ logo & advertisement design & artwork courtesy of Maurice & Micky Moore
  • Photographs: Micky Moore (with some help from Maurice Moore)

 

Musicians – T-Bone Walker

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‘Sermon Sound’ of T-Bone

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker, an innovator of electric blues, was born on May 28th, 1910 and died on March 16th, 1975. He played at the Dungeon Club twice, on March 28th, 1965 and October 17th, 1965 and each time had played at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester on the previous night. On the first occasion, he was backed by John Mayall’s Blues Breakers.

Here is a preview, published on Friday March 26th, 1965 in the Jazz Column of the Nottingham Evening Post And News prior to the first performance.

Jazz Column by Frank Jones

Nottingham says hail and farewell this weekend to a pioneer of the electric guitar, and one of America’s best known rhythm and blues singers – Aaron T-Bone Walker.

The gritty-voiced Texan winds up his three-week British tour at the Dungeon Club on Sunday, backed by John Mayall’s Blues Breakers.

For a man who helped to popularise the amplified guitar in its infancy, Walker has plenty in common with Britain’s guitar-mad youngsters. He also has a lot to teach them.

It was as a teenage guitarist that Walker first hit the road, accompanying legendary artists like Ida Cox, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Ma Rainey.

Electronics

He soaked up much of their feeling and style, and eventually succeeded in his own right as a singer with Les Hite’s band in the thirties. Lionel Hampton was a colleague in the group around that time.

When electronics were developed T-Bone was among the first to realise the musical potential of the electric guitar.

He employed it creatively to back his dynamic vocals and by 1943 he was one of the biggest-selling black artists making records.

At one time he had three R and B discs in the ‘Billboard’ magazine’s top ten, enjoying his biggest success with ‘Stormy Monday’.

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Solo Performer

In the forties and fifties T-Bone led his own band – often as many as nine pieces – but the strain of one-night stands told on his health. He broke up the group in 1955 and since then he has worked as a solo performer.

In Marshall Stearns’ ‘The Story of Jazz’ Walker links the blues harmonies with those of religious songs, which employed the same chords.

“Of course, the blues comes a lot from the church,” he says. “The first time I ever heard a boogie woogie piano was the first time I went to church.

Like sermon

“Lots of people think I’m going to be a preacher when I quit this business, because of the way I sing the blues,” he adds. “They say it sounds like a sermon.”

Brethren, stand by!

 

Evening Post And News, Friday March 26th 1965

 

T-Bone Walker on video: